as a duck

So yesterday we went to the park after school.

I notice that my eldest daughter seems to be teetering on the brink of womanhood. She wants to go to the park, but she omits playing on the playscapes. She will swing on the swing for a time, but when all the younger childern bombard her, she leaves them to their own devices. She looks for more 'grown-up' things to do. So instead, she walks along the path where the pond is. One of the younger children with us has a pop tart from after care, and begins to break it up, throwing the bits out to the ducks. Soon, all the ducks begin to congregate. Of course, because there's food.

I'm pointing the duck out to her, and she watches them quietly.

"This is important as you become a woman. Remember: Be like a duck," I tell her. "Let everything roll off your back. Be calm and composed on the surface. Graceful. But paddle like Hell underneath."

She giggles at me and I shake my head. "You're so silly, Mom."

I hope that she remembers.

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